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CHICO — A Valero gas station and mini-mart on Mangrove Avenue that has been closed since June 17 had its permit to sell wine and beer suspended by Alcoholic Beverage Control on Dec. 23, 2010, but could have reactivated it in January.

Customers to the business, at 1504 Mangrove Ave., said the store hadn”t sold alcohol for several months prior to closing.

ABC official John Carr said the license was suspended after the business was proven to have sold alcohol to a minor. The offense was documented during a minor decoy operation conducted by the Chico police.

The owner of the business, who he didn”t identify, had the option to restore the license, Carr said.

In the weeks before the business closed, the operator posted signs stating it could only accept cash for purchases.

On June 17, two suspects pulled up to gas pumps at the closed station twice during the day, in different cars, and stole eight gas hoses and nozzles, Chico police said.

The stolen items were valued at nearly $10,000.

Since closing, vendors have been seen taking merchandise and fixtures out of the store.

Police are investigating the theft of the gas hoses.

An official with Valero Energy Corp. said the location is independently owned and had no information about why the station had closed.

Staff writer Greg Welter can be reached at 896-7768 or gwelter@chicoer.com

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